About person and company
Coming from international consultancy background Ms. Petrovskaya used to advise international investors predominantly from Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Liechtenstein in their M&A and joint venture projects in Russia & CIS.
Prior to joining Rechtsanwälte Lennert Partners (RLP Lawyers, Liechtenstein based attorneys at law) as Of Counsel she worked as Head of Legal & Compliance in a Liechtenstein Fund & Wealth Management Company.
RLP Lawyers https://blockchain.rlp.li founded as tax law boutique started supporting blockchain projects in Liechtenstein in 2017.
Ms. Petrovskaya is a co-author of program for blockchain regulatory issues on cryptoradio http://satoshi.fm
What makes Switzerland & Liechtenstein regulatory framework attractive to international blockchain projects?
First of all, specialized crypto or blockchain related regulations or guidelines influence the decision to relocate the crypto business to the country.
Switzerland was one of the first countries in the world which introduced ICO guidelines in February 2018 defining:
Asset token are defined also as any type of investment while requirements for normal securities are to be fulfilled like publication of prospectus and in certain cases dealer’s license.
In 2017 a couple of Liechtenstein and Swiss banks started opening accounts for ICOs and other crypto projects. In September 2018 Swiss Bankers Association published detailed guidelines for banks for opening bank accounts for blockchain projects. By now there are over 10 banks which work with crypto.
Recently FINMA introduced simplified license for fintech projects:
The Fintech license is subject to certain conditions relating to, inter alia, the institution’s organization, risk management, compliance, accounting and minimum capital (at least CHF 300,000 or 3% of deposits). Such conditions are e.g. that an institution with a Fintech license must have its registered office and conduct its business activities in Switzerland.
In December 2018 the Federal Council adopted a report on the legal framework for blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) in the financial sector, where clarifications for the following activities for blockchain projects are provided inter alia:
In general, also the following factors make Switzerland competitive towards Malta, Estonia and other crypto friendly countries:
Major disadvantages currently are:
Financial Market Authority Liechtenstein (FMA) has also published ICO factsheet in September 2017.
As one of the first in the world Liechtenstein has already introduced Blockchain Act (Trustworthy Technology Act) to be enacted in the beginning of 2019 (Liechtenstein Blockchain Act in English (not official translation)) and our summary of Liechtenstein Blockchain Act.
The Blockchain Act defines token as embodiment of rights, conditions for disposal over token and relationship: person, token and related assets.
The following activities will require special registration under the Blockchain Act while financial market laws and ordinances are still to be complied with:
Under financial market laws the following activities may be subject to the following approvals and licenses:
Besides of the regulatory framework Liechtenstein has the following competitive advantages:
Major disadvantages are costs of approvals or licenses (including company set up, attorneys, minimum capital ect.) for blockchain projects are still high compared to Lithuania, Estonia etc.
Here we still must note that it not any sort of consultation and RLP Lawyers will not take any liability for the general overview information provided.